Superstitions In Games

Have you always picked the red Terran in your StarCraft games because you believe the colour gives a better spawn point? Or maybe you have a certain combination of buttons that you have to hold down before attempting to catch any Pokémons?

But how many of these superstitions and old wives’ (or old raiders) tales actually hold water?

RGB finds out for you!

1) Holding down buttons when catching Pokémons

The Caterpie is down to its last sliver of health. Wiping sweaty palms on your shorts, you extend your thumb and hit A to throw a Pokéball. As the red and white sphere encloses the Caterpie, you spam A (or down + B) to keep it shut, or so you think.

Does this work?

No, pressing buttons – any combination of them – does not actually increase your catch rate.

“There is no published article nor proof about pressing any combination of buttons at any condition to increase the rate of capture,” explained Ng Soon Aik, founder of Singaporean Pokémon community Team Robo and our local Pokémon professor.

However, he did tell us that any inputs to the game console while a Pokémon was being caught would affect its Random Number Generator (RNG), the basic formula on which certain aspects of the Pokémon game runs.

2) Choosing a particular colour for your race in StarCraft II helps you to win easier

Do you have a favourite selected colour  before engaging in a skirmish on StarCraft II? Do you feel that it just might propels you to do better in the match, and that a game without it spells certain defeat?

Is it true?

For certain colours, yes! Blue for Protoss isn’t as striking against the landscape as red would be. And when you’re creeping up on an opponent’s natural expansion (or nat expo in StarCraft speak), the last thing you want is for your units to stand out like sore thumbs. StarCraft II player extraordinaire Marcus ‘Revenant’ Tan also shared a tip for his race of choice: “pick purple for your Zerg to blend in on creep on the mini map; and orange to stand out on creep.”

3) Firing a shot off from your Deagle in CounterStrike before actually shooting

You purchase the Night Hawk .50c, better known as the Desert Eagle, while waiting for the timer to tick down in de_dust. Before you head off, you fire a single shot, then reload. Now you’re good to go.


This might be one of the more baseless superstitions, and may even lack concrete proof, but many players believe that sometimes, the first or first few bullets in a Deagle can somewhat misfire. Firing one shot off first supposedly ensures better accuracy.

This may also stem from a cheat in CS 1.6 where firing one shot off certain guns, reloading them and then buying the bullets again, gives you one clip more than the maximum.

4) Having a specific person enter a raid or dungeon in World of WarCraft, for better loot drops

It’s always the priest who has to go in first. And not just any priest, but that particular Blood Elf shadow priest with the purple hawkstrider. God forbids anyone go in before him. The drops just wouldn’t be as good.


According to The Daedelus Project – a website dedicated to the psychology of MMORPGs – there’s a belief that instances in WoW are seeded. This means the class of the person who starts the group or the raid directly impacts what class specific loot will drop. However, there is no evidence to support this. Instead, loot in WoW appears to drop according to a pseudo-random number generator.

The Daedelus Project also notes that, just like in real life, some folk are just luckier than others at times.

5) Going into an arcade with just one token makes you perform better

You’re down to your last fifty cents; it’s just enough for one final game of Street Fighter. You expect the game to last three minutes, tops. But you find yourself playing on, and on, with that final token…

Is that possible?

Kenneth Chua, 29, explained to us that “when you’re penniless, and like gaming so much, and you have only one last token, you’ll ‘die die’ fight like a pro!” While it makes psychological sense to laymen that one would naturally slant towards the more beguiling choice (playing at the arcade vs. going home) and start playing better, a study done in America, over high-stakes academic tests, has shown that a high-stakes test does not actually increase achievement.

On the other hand, we have tales of legend in the fighting game community where players fight back from the depths of defeat. One such example is the epic Daigo parry, performed when the Japanese player was left with just the barest sliver of health.